Tag Archives: residency

Residency Run-Down: National Library of Medicine Associate Fellowship Program

Applications are now open for this residency: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/about/training/associate/applicinfo.html

REPOST FROM June 6, 2013

Here is another post for you new and soon-to-be new grads.  Kathel Dunn was gracious enough to speak with me about the Associate Fellowship program at the National Library of Medicine.  If you’re interested in being a health sciences librarian, please pay close attention!


Can you give us a brief introduction to the NLM Associate Fellowship Program?

NLM FellowsSure! The Associate Fellowship Program is a one-year residency program at the National Library of Medicine on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. The fellowship offers recent library science graduates the opportunity to learn about NLM’s products, services, and databases; its research and development areas; and its outreach to the public, particularly underserved populations; and to health professionals.

Why does the NLM continue to fund this program?  What makes it important to your organization?

NLM continues to fund the program – it’s over 40 years old – because of a strong commitment to training health sciences librarians. It’s part of our Long Range Plan.

What are the main job duties of  the Associate Fellows – do they differ from those of “regular” librarians?

The Associate Fellows’ main “job” is to learn. So their responsibilities are first to participate in a curriculum, taught by staff, which covers all of the work that NLM does. It’s extensive – lasting approximately 5 months. At the end of that time, the Associate Fellows then move into the project phase of the year where they work on projects proposed by staff. In addition, they go to conferences, visit other health sciences libraries, and present on their project to all NLM staff at the end of the year.

Are Associate Fellows paid?  Do they get any other special benefits?

Yes, Associate Fellows are paid $51,630 for the year. In addition, they receive:

  • An additional amount provided to assist in paying for health insurance
  • Up to $1,500 to aid with moving expenses
  • Full funding to attend local and national conferences

What would you tell a potential applicants in order to convince them to apply for the program?

Nlm_building_lg (resized)I usually don’t try to convince someone to apply.  If someone has to be   convinced, it’s probably not a good match. What I want to convey, though, is how exciting it is to be at the National Library of Medicine, where many of the products and services used not just by health sciences libraries and libraries but by researchers and the public across the United States and the world are created, maintained and reinvented. For a librarian in any stage of his or her career, NLM is an amazing place to be.

What are the eligibility requirements?

Applicants must have graduated from an ALA-accredited program within the past two years. That’s the basic eligibility requirement. What we also like to see is an interest in health sciences librarianship and in leadership.

What does the selection process entail? How does it differ from the regular job application process?

nlm frontWe ask for a structured resume**, three written references, transcripts, and responses to two questions: What do you hope to gain by participating in the NLM Associate Fellowship Program and If selected, what will you bring to the NLM Associate Fellowship Program?

The regular job application process for NLM is through the USAJobs web site and does not usually require responses to narrative statements.

**Emily’s note: The structured resume in this context is a resume which is formatted and contains information as specified on page 6 of the current application.

Any tips for students?  Is there anything they could do to improve their chances of winning a spot in your program?

The biggest tip is to pay attention to the application instructions. We ask for a complete job history on their resume, to include library and non-library jobs. We respect the work and skills someone may have learned from another industry, including customer service, management, project planning, or marketing, as examples.

We also look for signs of leadership or interest in leadership in the resume, reference letters, or responses to the questions.

When will the next Associate Fellows be picked?

The next Associate Fellows’ application deadline will be in early February 2014. We then review applications and in late March ask between 10 and 12 applicants to visit us for an interview in mid to late April. We make our decision on who we’ve selected by late April or early May.

Anything else you want to tell us about the program, or about job hunting in general?

Kathel DunnYes. I’m happy to take calls or emails from students interested in the program or anyone who would like to work at NLM. Really. It’s my job and it’s a pleasure to hear from someone who’d like to know more about the National Library of Medicine.


Photos of NLM Fellows and Kathel Dunn by Troy Pfister, National Library of Medicine.

Thank you to Ms. Dunn for taking the time to answer my questions!

If you run a LIS residency program and you’d like to discuss it here, please contact me.  I’d love to talk to you.

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Filed under 200+ staff members, MLIS Students, Residency Run-Down, Special

Residency Run-down: Santa Barbara City College Library Residency

I know a lot of you readers are new librarians or current students. And we all know it’s a tough market for emerging information professionals. That’s why I’m really happy to be able to share this interview with Kenley Neufeld of Santa Barbara City College. In this interview, Mr. Neufeld describes, the origins of the program. as well as why Santa Barbara City College Library is a great place to learn about academic librarianship and the top two things he looks for in applicants.

Can you give us a brief introduction to the Santa Barbara City College Library Residency Program?

See http://library.sbcc.edu/blog/2011/07/08/2011-2012-library-resident/

Why was this program started? or Why does Santa Barbara City College Library continue to fund this program? What makes it important to your organization?

The program was started to meet a need to serve more students. Between 2005-2010 the number of students using the library more than doubled and yet we weren’t able to make any staff changes to meet this increased demand. We are an extremely busy library with very limited staff. We also wanted to keep our approach to serving students fresh and innovative. By bringing in new librarians on a rotating basis we can assure freshness.

I approached a community member to fund this position because the institution wasn’t able to add more librarians to our staff. As a leader in the library profession, as an award-winning library and award-winning college, it is the right thing for us to continue being innovative in how we provide services.

What are the main job duties of residents – do they differ from those of “regular” librarians?

The duties of the resident are no different than our “regular” librarians. We try to expose the resident to as many aspects of library service as possible, assign them areas in which they have interest or strengths, and push the resident to take on leadership responsibilities.

Are residents paid? Do they get any other special benefits?

Yes, the residents are paid as part-time faculty. No other specific benefits.

What would you tell a potential applicants in order to convince them to apply for the program?

We are one of the top community colleges and library in the country. We are exciting, innovative, and passionate about what we do. The view is spectacular.

What are the eligibility requirements?

See http://library.sbcc.edu/blog/2011/07/08/2011-2012-library-resident/

What does the selection process entail? How does it differ from the regular job application process?

The selection process is less formal than our regular job application process. Applicants must complete one of the online college applications and then are screened by the library director and other librarians for interview selection. The interview is performed by the library director and a selection is made.

Any tips for students? Is there anything they could do to improve their chances of winning a spot in your program?

At this point we’re on a 2-year cycle and so the next vacancy will be in Summer 2014. Reviewing the criteria should provide the best indication on how to improve their chances.

When will the next residents be picked?

Summer 2014

Anything else you want to tell us about the program, or about job hunting in general?

Communication and customer service skills are two of my top criteria when interviewing people. I want to see someone who is creative, smart, and has some vision on where to go.

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Filed under Academic, MLIS Students, Residency Run-Down, Western US

Residency Run-Down: National Library of Medicine Associate Fellowship Program

Here is another post for you new and soon-to-be new grads.  Kathel Dunn was gracious enough to speak with me about the Associate Fellowship program at the National Library of Medicine.  If you’re interested in being a health sciences librarian, please pay close attention!


Can you give us a brief introduction to the NLM Associate Fellowship Program?

NLM FellowsSure! The Associate Fellowship Program is a one-year residency program at the National Library of Medicine on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. The fellowship offers recent library science graduates the opportunity to learn about NLM’s products, services, and databases; its research and development areas; and its outreach to the public, particularly underserved populations; and to health professionals.

Why does the NLM continue to fund this program?  What makes it important to your organization?

NLM continues to fund the program – it’s over 40 years old – because of a strong commitment to training health sciences librarians. It’s part of our Long Range Plan.

What are the main job duties of  the Associate Fellows – do they differ from those of “regular” librarians?

The Associate Fellows’ main “job” is to learn. So their responsibilities are first to participate in a curriculum, taught by staff, which covers all of the work that NLM does. It’s extensive – lasting approximately 5 months. At the end of that time, the Associate Fellows then move into the project phase of the year where they work on projects proposed by staff. In addition, they go to conferences, visit other health sciences libraries, and present on their project to all NLM staff at the end of the year.

Are Associate Fellows paid?  Do they get any other special benefits?

Yes, Associate Fellows are paid $51,630 for the year. In addition, they receive:

  • An additional amount provided to assist in paying for health insurance
  • Up to $1,500 to aid with moving expenses
  • Full funding to attend local and national conferences

What would you tell a potential applicants in order to convince them to apply for the program?

Nlm_building_lg (resized)I usually don’t try to convince someone to apply.  If someone has to be   convinced, it’s probably not a good match. What I want to convey, though, is how exciting it is to be at the National Library of Medicine, where many of the products and services used not just by health sciences libraries and libraries but by researchers and the public across the United States and the world are created, maintained and reinvented. For a librarian in any stage of his or her career, NLM is an amazing place to be.

What are the eligibility requirements?

Applicants must have graduated from an ALA-accredited program within the past two years. That’s the basic eligibility requirement. What we also like to see is an interest in health sciences librarianship and in leadership.

What does the selection process entail? How does it differ from the regular job application process?

nlm frontWe ask for a structured resume**, three written references, transcripts, and responses to two questions: What do you hope to gain by participating in the NLM Associate Fellowship Program and If selected, what will you bring to the NLM Associate Fellowship Program?

The regular job application process for NLM is through the USAJobs web site and does not usually require responses to narrative statements.

**Emily’s note: The structured resume in this context is a resume which is formatted and contains information as specified on page 6 of the current application.

Any tips for students?  Is there anything they could do to improve their chances of winning a spot in your program?

The biggest tip is to pay attention to the application instructions. We ask for a complete job history on their resume, to include library and non-library jobs. We respect the work and skills someone may have learned from another industry, including customer service, management, project planning, or marketing, as examples.

We also look for signs of leadership or interest in leadership in the resume, reference letters, or responses to the questions.

When will the next Associate Fellows be picked?

The next Associate Fellows’ application deadline will be in early February 2014. We then review applications and in late March ask between 10 and 12 applicants to visit us for an interview in mid to late April. We make our decision on who we’ve selected by late April or early May.

Anything else you want to tell us about the program, or about job hunting in general?

Kathel DunnYes. I’m happy to take calls or emails from students interested in the program or anyone who would like to work at NLM. Really. It’s my job and it’s a pleasure to hear from someone who’d like to know more about the National Library of Medicine.


Photos of NLM Fellows and Kathel Dunn by Troy Pfister, National Library of Medicine.

Thank you to Ms. Dunn for taking the time to answer my questions!

If you run a LIS residency program and you’d like to discuss it here, please contact me.  I’d love to talk to you.

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Filed under 200+ staff members, MLIS Students, Residency Run-Down, Special

Job Hunter’s Web Guide: ACRL Residency Interest Group

It seems that each year, the number of LIS graduates increases, and the number of entry-level jobs decreases.  And the bar for those jobs is set higher and higher.  It is difficult for new grads to get their feet on the path to becoming future library leaders.  I’m interested in what we, as a profession, are doing about this problem.  

So I’m glad to present a resource which may really help new grads: the ACRL Residency Interest group.  Residencies provide a structured entrance into the profession, and the ACRL group, along with it’s associated website, provides some good insight into how you can obtain such an entrance.  Hannah K. Lee, who is the Outgoing Convener of the ACRL Residency Interest Group as well as Assistant Librarian, University of Delaware Library, Student Multimedia Design Center, was kind enough to answer my questions about the site and the group.


ACRL Residency Interest Group

What is it? Please give us your elevator speech!

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Residency Interest Group (RIG) is a group of library residents (both current and former), residency program coordinators, library administrators, diversity officers, and human resources professionals from across the country. A residency is post-degree work experience, often from one to three years, designed as an entry level program for recent graduates of library and information science programs. The aim of this group is to encourage interested parties to more broadly share their expertise regarding residency programs and to make it both available and accessible for future residents and coordinators. It was also founded as a resource for newer members, particularly library school students, who may be considering a residency program upon graduation.

When was it started? Why was it started?

In 2008, ACRL amended their bylaws allowing for communities to be created within ACRL that had a specific area of focus but that weren’t represented by Discussion Groups or Sections. They called these Interest Groups. An interest group is a network of individuals who have come together to share their knowledge and expertise with one another, and to help solve problems across organizational boundaries with those who may face similar challenges. The Residency Interest Group was the very first Interest Group to be formed by ACRL.

We have several goals:

  • To centralize information regarding residency program availability
  • To maintain a directory of past and present program participants
  • To garner interest and support for the group’s activities through the production of research projects related to residency programs
  • To serve as an information clearinghouse and resource for institutions planning, managing, or researching residency programs
  • To support potential residents, new graduates, and early career librarians in their professional development through a variety of resources including guest writers, podcasts, and downloadable documentation

Who runs it?

RIG is completely volunteer-based and is part of ACRL’s committee structure. ACRL, in turn, is a division within the American Library Association (ALA). RIG’s leadership includes the incoming convener, convener, outgoing convener, and web editors.

Are you a “career expert”? What are your qualifications?

I wouldn’t consider myself a career “expert,” and librarianship isn’t my first career. But I’ve learned a lot along the way, and I’m always happy to give advice to new graduates and job seekers. As a college student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I dabbled in every possible field you can image– psychology, French, architecture, chemistry, history, photography– before eventually graduating with a B.A. in English Literature and a minor in Education. I started my professional career as a high school English teacher in Chicago, where I taught British Literature and Film Studies. I then set my sights abroad, and ended up teaching in the Paris, France region for a couple of years at the junior high level. I returned to the States—and to my alma mater– to continue my studies at the graduate level. While at the U of I, I taught various rhetoric and composition courses, including ART 250: Writing with Video. I received my M.A in English with a specialization in Writing Studies in 2008 and my M.S. in Library and Information Science in 2009. I have worked as a Substitute Adult Services Reference Librarian at the Urbana Free Library, as a Librarian Intern at Harper College Library in Palatine, IL, and as an Affiliate Assistant Librarian and Pauline A. Young Resident at the Student Multimedia Design Center at the University of Delaware Library. I’m currently an Assistant Librarian in the Student Multimedia Design Center. The Center is a one of the largest multimedia facilities in an academic library in the nation. During my residency, my responsibilities included assisting students in creating multimedia content, collaborating on interdepartmental library projects such as videos and interactive tutorials, digital literacy instruction, and staff and student training, among others. In my permanent position, I began a program for multimedia literacy instruction that was launched in Fall 2012. I work collaboratively with faculty across departments, consulting with them on assignment design and teaching class sessions on digital storytelling, production basics, video editing, etc.

Who is your target audience?

Our target audience is new library and information science graduates as well as people who are interested in starting library residency programs.

What’s the best way to use your site? Should users consult it daily? Or as needed? Should they already know what they need help with, or can they just noodle around?

For recent graduates who are looking for a job, the best way to use the site is to consult it on a regular basis to see if there are any new residency positions that have opened up. They can also subscribe to the Residency Interest Group listserv, because most of the jobs that are posted on the website also get sent out through the listserv. To subscribe to the listserv, go to http://lists.ala.org/sympa. We also have regular posts from current and former residents in our Residency Diaries series, and although we haven’t had a podcast recently, we also have a Newbie Dispatches podcast series on a variety of topics of interest to new librarians.

Does your site provide:

√ Job Listings √ Answers to reader questions √ Interviews
√ Articles/literature √ Links √ Research √ The opportunity for interaction

Should readers also look for you on social media? 

√ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/ACRL-Residency-Interest-Group/113621396297?fref=ts

Do you charge for anything on your site?

No

Can you share any stories about job hunters that found positions after using your site?

I actually found my residency through the ACRL Residency Interest Group! I hadn’t even heard of residencies when I was in library school, and I stumbled upon a job ad for a residency program when I was searching for jobs. This piqued my interest, and I started looking for other residency programs. I came across the Residency Interest Group website and subscribed to the listserv, and not too long after, there was a posting for a job opening at the University of Delaware for their Pauline A Young Residency program. I applied for the position, and one thing led to another to bring me to where I am today. My residency was for two years, but they ended up offering me a permanent position midway through my residency. I’m still at the University of Delaware, and am very thankful for my experiences as a resident.

Anything else you’d like to share with my readers about your site in particular, or about library hiring/job hunting in general?

Hannah LeeDon’t get discouraged! It might take a few tries to get your dream job, but in the meantime, don’t be afraid of taking on positions to help build up your experience. If you want to work in a university library, you might have to move to a location you’re not familiar with. If you want to develop your career as an academic librarian, it’s something that you’ll have to seriously consider. Good luck!

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Filed under Academic, Entry Level, Job Hunters Web Guide, MLIS Students

Residency Run-Down: Los Angeles Public Library Innovation Leadership Program

I know a lot of you readers are new librarians or current students.  And we all know it’s a tough market for emerging information professionals.  That’s why I’m really happy to be able to share this interview with Dawn Coppin, Director of Foundation & Corporate Relations for the Library Foundation of Los Angeles.  Los Angeles Public Library has the only public library residency program that I know of.  In this interview, Ms. Coppin describes the scope and goals of the program, as well as providing a few tips for those of you graduating this year or next, who may be interested in this fantastic opportunity to get a comprehensive introduction to working as a public librarian. 

Can you give us a brief introduction to the Los Angeles Public Library Residency Program?

LAPL ILP 2013 cohortThe Innovation Leadership Program (ILP) is a unique approach to cultivating the next generation of library leaders by teaming ‘residents’ who are recent library school graduates with ‘fellows’ who are mid-career librarians. The two-year, full-time, program provides them with resources to develop new library programs and the opportunity to gain the skills necessary to lead the Los Angeles Public Library in the twenty-first century.

Why did LAPL decide to develop this program?

The original planning started in 2010 at a time when the Los Angeles Public Library was experiencing early retirements, layoffs, and a long-term hiring freeze that meant we were in danger of losing a generation of newly credentialed librarians who were dedicated to public service. The ILP is a way for the Library to benefit from the new skills, knowledge, and enthusiasm of graduates *and* develop the leadership skills and experiences of ambitious, talented, mid-career librarians to expand internal capacity to ensure the Library’s succession plan.

What will be the main job duties of residents – do they differ from those of “regular” librarians?

The residents’ experiences will change over the course of the two year program. Initially, they will spend the majority of their time doing usual entry-level librarian duties. However, their location will change every three months as they rotate to different libraries to see how parts of the whole system are the same and different from one another: subject departments and branch libraries; suburban and urban branches; poor and rich neighborhoods; public-facing and back-of-house departments; etc. Residents will also be involved with many ILP-specific meetings, workshops, and interactions with other major cultural and educational institutions.

Are residents paid? Do they get any other special benefits?

Yes, residents are paid full time employees of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles at the equivalent entry-level librarian rate for two years. Health insurance, sick and vacation leave, and 401(k) matching are standard, plus they get a travel allowance for professional conferences and other leadership development opportunities.

What would you tell a potential applicants in order to convince them to apply for the program?

Central Library - LAPLThe Innovation Leadership Program will provide the successful applicant with unparalleled experiences to understand how a large urban public library system operates, to obtain the skills necessary to be in a leadership position, and with networking opportunities that are essential to a long successful career.

What are the eligibility requirements?

Applicants to be an ILP Resident must have graduated with an MLIS from a credentialed school within 12 months of the program start date. They must have a demonstrated commitment to public librarianship and be eligible to work in the USA.

What does the selection process entail? How does it differ from the regular job application process?

The selection is made by a sub-committee of the ILP advisory group that includes that cohort’s fellows. Initial selection is based on the written application essay and resume that show those with the best fit and strongest promise. The next step is an interview either in-person or via video conference, followed by background checks to the top candidates’ references.

Any tips for students? Is there anything they could do to improve their chances of winning a spot in your program?

Be succinct and don’t repeat in your essay what we can see in your resume. Instead, show us your commitment to public librarianship and innovative approaches to the future of the public library; that you desire to be a leader and know why that will make a difference to our society.

When will the next residents be picked?

We haven’t determined this yet but most likely it will be to begin late 2014.

Anything else you want to tell us about the program?

Please check in with the ILP online at http://ilpinfo.wordpress.com/ or follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@ilpLAPL). We will also be at the major professional conferences, including ALA in Chicago, so stop by and talk with us.

Thank you to Ms. Coppin for taking the time to answer my questions!

If you run a LIS residency program and you’d like to discuss it here, please contact me.  I’d love to talk to you.

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Filed under 200+ staff members, MLIS Students, Public, Residency Run-Down